5 Factors That Can Predict Successful Reconciliation After A Breakup

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Many couples come into counseling because they have broken up but realize they want to get back together.

Their goal in counseling is to figure out how to have a healthier and more stable relationship and confront whatever problems led to their separation (or almost separation).

Sometimes, even legally divorced couples want to reconcile and/or remarry because they have reconsidered their relationship and want to try again.

What factors predict whether a couple will be able to have a happy and fulfilling relationship after the crisis of a split or near-split?

RELATED: If You & Your Ex Broke Up For Any Of These 11 Reasons, Getting Back Together May Be The Best Thing You Ever Do

Here are 5 factors that can predict successful reconciliation after a breakup:

1. Trust

Either one or both partners decided to split up or to deeply consider splitting up. This means that trust will need to be re-established. In fact, we could just say "established," because there is no way to go back to the time when both partners took for granted that the relationship would last forever.

In the post-breakup era of the relationship, which I call Relationship 2.0 (borrowed from Esther Perel), trust will mean something different.

Instead of both partners saying that the relationship will never end, they can commit to telling each other when they are experiencing issues or doubts. Instead of committing to forever, they can commit to honesty and authenticity.

If both partners cannot trust the other to be transparent about future doubts/grievances, then the relationship is unlikely to rekindle.

2. Similar motivators

Couples need to have a strong sense of WHY they want to do the hard work of reconciling. Some common motivators are religious values, having an intact home for the kids and a longstanding deep history together.

Note: Staying together for the children can be underrated; while this cannot be the sole reason to remain together, it can certainly be a good motivator and starting point for a couple who wants to try again.

RELATED: How To Get Your Ex Back After Breaking Up (Without Looking Desperate)

3. Attraction

When there is a complete lack of physical chemistry/attraction, attempts at reconciliation are likely doomed from the start, unless the couple agrees on a friendship-based marriage without sex (or an open marriage).

If, however, there is sexual and physical chemistry, even that waxes and wanes, between the partners, then a romantic relationship is likelier to be rekindled.

4. The ability to see one’s own contribution to the marital issues

Under no circumstances should a couple try to reconcile if BOTH cannot see how they contributed to the issues in the marriage, even if one’s contribution was ignoring/enabling the other’s problem behavior.

If both parties cannot own their unique role in the marital problems, then reconciling will never truly work.

5. Basic compatibility in at least many of these key areas

If you do not share similar values on a deep level, then leave well enough alone and stay separated. However, if you and your partner have experienced a deep empathic rupture BUT still feel you view the world very similarly, you are likelier to be able to reconcile successfully.

To summarize: if you respect their views, you should try again. If you do not respect or understand where they come from (across a range of major life arenas), do not.

RELATED: Sometimes You Have To Fall Apart To Fall Back Together

6. Agreement that this relationship will be a NEW one, not the same one

As discussed, Relationship 2.0 will never be a return to the 1.0 version, for better and for worse.

Both partners have to be open-minded enough to recognize that there will need to be complete paradigm shifts in how they view one another and the marriage as a whole. This can yield a very fulfilling union between two more mature and accepting people, if and only if they both agree to openly put everything on the table and decide what kind of life they both want together.

If you are in this situation, a couples counselor can help you and your partner decide if you want to stay together (discernment counseling), and, if so, how the rest of your life together will look.

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Dr. Samantha Rodman Whiten, aka Dr. Psych Mom, is a clinical psychologist in private practice and the founder of DrPsychMom. She works with adults and couples in her group practice Best Life Behavioral Health.

This article was originally published at Dr. Psych Mom. Reprinted with permission from the author.